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June 9, 2015

Ensure Another 40 Years of Making Quality Care Matter

For 40 years, we have been the national Consumer Voice calling for quality of care, dignity, and human rights for nursing home residents and all who depend on long-term care services.  We have come so far in our fight to achieve quality care, and yet many challenges remain. Our commitment, achievement and effectiveness since 1975 provide us with a solid foundation to meet and overcome these challenges, as we work to continue to ensure that the consumer voice is heard by policymakers and providers, and that consumers nationwide have the tools and support they need to demand quality care.

Our efforts are ceaseless. When we led the campaign to eliminate use of restraints in nursing homes we did not rest when they were determined to be illegal. We immediately picked up and began the battle to end use of “chemical restraints” such as inappropriate and dangerous anti-psychotic medications.

Fighting for quality care takes many forms. A key priority is our advocacy for higher staffing standards to ensure that enough nurses and enough personal care time is provided to each consumer so that quality care can occur.

An entirely new focus for Consumer Voice is on the ever growing demand for assisted living and the realities of home care where many people want to “age in place.”

Finally, a growing part of our work involves a focus on elder justice. We are reaching out to criminal justice personnel at all levels of government so that incidents of abuse, neglect, exploitation, injury and poor care can be adjudicated – and with the intent of setting a standard for high quality care.

What your contributions can do

The purpose of the 40th Anniversary Campaign is to raise $125,000 and $40,000 in new funding to provide a solid foundation to finance Consumer Voice advocacy for quality care.  By new funding, we mean amounts that are above and beyond funds received in a normal year.  Our campaign has begun with our Governing Board which has already doubled its giving over 2014. Now we are reaching out to friends and past supporters, people we know who recognize the importance of an ever-vigilant and aggressive approach to advocating on behalf of all people who depend on quality long-term care.

Financing advocacy for long-term care is no small matter. There is literally no other national organization dedicated year-round to preserving the dignity, rights and well-being of all long-term care consumers – and certainly none with the commitment and record of Consumer Voice.

But today financing is key to effectiveness. We cannot just "talk the talk" but if we wish to continue to advocate for consumers, we must “walk the walk.”  Your contribution and your commitment make it possible for Consumer Voice to be the voice and the advocate for all long-term care consumers, people who are dependent, often weakened and need someone to help them speak up or to speak for them.

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Now Accepting Nominations for 2015 Leadership Awards - Nominate Your Gems!

Are you looking for a way to recognize a long-term care consumer, long-term care ombudsman, family caregiver, citizen advocate, or another individual for their advocacy on behalf of long-term care consumers?

Since this year marks our 40th anniversary and the traditional 40th anniversary gift is a ruby we encourage you to nominate the gems you know that are dedicated to “making quality care matter” and have made significant contributions to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.

Based on your nominations, Consumer Voice will recognize people who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.

Visit our website for additional information about the awards and nomination process.

There are 3 easy steps to submit a nomination!

  1. Review the award categories and criteria.
  2. Complete the nomination form via SurveyMonkey.
  3. Submit a letter of recommendation.

Individual and group members of the Consumer Voice may nominate people for an award. Awards will be presented at our 39th Annual Conference, November 4-7, 2015, in Arlington, Virginia.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Nominations are due by Friday, July 10.

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Free Advocacy Skills Training Webinar Series

Webinar #3
Delivering Your Message: Utilizing Both Traditional Approaches and Social Media
June 30, 2015, 2-3:30 PM ET

As part of our Consumers for Quality Care, No Matter Where initiative, Consumer Voice will be conducting four FREE advocacy skills training webinars throughout the year. This will be our third advocacy skills training webinar. We welcome anyone and everyone to partcipate - long-term care consumers, family members, individual advocates, long-term care ombudsmen, members of consumer advocacy groups, family/caregiving groups, consumer alliances, and community and senior organizations.

During this session participants will learn how to communicate a message effectively using traditional methods, such as phone, email and letters to the editor, as well as social media approaches, including Facebook and Twitter.

Registration is first come, first served, so register now! To register, click here.

*While the webinars are free, your contribution of $10 or more - or your membership in Consumer Voice - will help support our Public Policy and Advocacy programs. You can join the Consumer Voice here  or make a contribution here.

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Materials Available from Webinar: "Supporting Volunteer LTCO and Minimizing Risk"

The webinar recording, slides, and materials shared during the “Supporting Volunteer LTCO and Minimizing Risk” webinar are now available on the NORC website.
This webinar discussed how risk management applies to every aspect of managing and supporting volunteer long-term care ombudsmen. Presenters provided tips for screening volunteers, identifying and removing risk, and responding to situations when the actions, or inaction, of a volunteer LTCO negatively impacts a LTCO program. The webinar featured presentations by Sarah Hinzman, Volunteer Ombudsman Program & Americorps VISTA Project Coordinator, IA LTCOP; Darlene Cray, Volunteer Program Coordinator, NH LTCOP; and Amity Overall-Laib, Manager, LTCO Program & Policy, NORC.

Please note: This webinar was hosted for a second time on May 27, 2015 due to audio issues experienced during the original webinar on April 30, 2015.

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Consumer Voice Executive Director Speaks at White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotic resistance is on the rise and is an increasing threat to the nation’s long-term care population.  Many people depending upon long-term care services are at risk for infections and may have compromised immune response. Because bacteria can mutate, the more antibiotics are used, the more likely that some bacteria will develop the ability to survive and pose danger to people. For that reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made antibiotic stewardship a public health priority. Antibiotic stewardship includes efforts to only use antibiotics when they are shown to be necessary and effective to treat an infection, not necessarily to prevent one.

Last week, CDC helped organize the first White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship which included representatives from both human health and animal health sectors.  At a session on long-term care, Consumer Voice executive director Richard Gelula provided a brief presentation. He emphasized the need to address underlying conditions in the nation’s nursing homes, including inadequate staffing and hygiene, as a first step in preventing infection and achieving effective use of antibiotics.

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Consumer Voice Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Quoted in Article on HUD's Backing of a Substandard Nursing Home

Consumer Voice Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Robyn Grant was quoted in an article in The Augusta Chronicle.  The article revealed how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided backing for a substandard nursing home.  HUD insured a $2.5 million mortgage to Augusta Hills Nursing Home.  At the time that the loan was guaranteed, the facility had a three-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but one month later the facility's ranking dropped to one-star. HUD continues to insure the facility.  Robyn Grant commented: "HUD should re-examine the loans it insures on an annual basis because over the course of a mortgage, a facility's care can decline and that should be grounds for reconsidering whether the agency should terminate its coverage."  Read the full article.

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CFPB Money Smart for Older Adults Train-the-Trainer Live Meeting

Join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Office for Older Americans and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for a special Train-the-Trainer Live Meeting on June 18 at 1:00pm ET. Learn about the Money Smart for Older Adults curriculum and how to effectively use it to raise awareness among older adults and their caregivers on the prevention of elder financial exploitation; and encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making. Register here.  Read the agenda.

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Briefly Noted...

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report on reverse mortgage advertisements and found that these advertisements may leave older homeowners with the false impression that reverse mortgage loans are a risk-free solution to financial gaps in retirement.  Read CFPB's report, blog post and consumer advisory.
  • Cyber-Seniors is a documentary that focuses on a group of seniors  who are taught about the internet by teenage mentors.  The film looks "at a spirited group of men and women who are enriched by digitally re-connecting with their families and each other."

In the News...

  • The North Carolina General Assembly voted to override the governor's veto of a bill that grants the state's employers the right to take legal action against people who steal company secrets or covertly record alleged malpractice at farms or factories.  Veterans' groups and the AARP have opposed the bill as it can be seen as an attack on any whistelblower who speaks up for the most vulnerable.  Read the article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Spotlight on Giving: A Gift of Stock

It is great when the value of an asset increases, but when such assets are owned outside of a retirement plan people are subject to capital gains tax on the asset’s appreciation or increase in value.  Making a gift of the asset – often a stock or other security – to Consumer Voice eliminates the capital gains tax on the holding.  Additionally, the gift may be recognized as a charitable donation and may result in a tax deduction for the full appreciated value of the asset.  

So, the donor wins in two ways – by avoiding capital gains tax and receiving a charitable gift deduction.  And Consumer Voice wins by obtaining your contribution and using it to support our programs of long-term care advocacy and education. If you would like to make a gift of stock or other security, contact rgelula@theconsumervoice.org.

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Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center have a multitude of resources available online covering a wide range of long-term care topics.  Visit the Consumer Voice website and the NORC website to explore all the available resources.  Take a look at this week's highlighted resource:

Locate an Ombudsman  - This tool provides an easy way to find contact information for ombudsman, citizen advocacy groups and other resources in your state.

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In this Issue

Ensure Another 40 Years of Making Quality Care Matter

Now Accepting Nominations for 2015 Leadership Awards - Nominate Your Gems!

Free Advocacy Skills Training Webinar Series

Materials Available from Webinar "Supporting Volunteer LTCO and Minimizing Risk"

Consumer Voice Executive Director Speaks at White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship

Consumer Voice Public Policy & Advocacy Director Quoted in Article About HUD Backing of Substandard Nursing Home

CFPB Money Smart for Older Adults Train-the-Trainer Live Meeting

Briefly Noted...

In the News...

Spotlight on Giving: A Gift of Stock

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Call for Session Proposals

Consumer Voice invites you to submit a proposal for a concurrent session at the 2015 Consumer Voice Annual Conference.

Click here for the Proposal Form

Proposal Guidelines:

  • The Conference will be November 4-7, 2015 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA. Most conference sessions will be on November 5-7.
  • All proposals must include speaker names, contact info, and a short bio of credentials.
  • Proposals may be submitted for more than one session, but you must submit a separate form for each proposal.
  • Sessions will be either 75 minutes or 90 minutes in length.

All proposals must be received by June 26, 2015 to be considered.  Sessions that include more than one perspective or speakers from more than one program are encouraged.

Submit proposals as Word or PDF documents to Consumer Voice at info@theconsumervoice.org.

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating for a minimum of 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day.  To show your support of this campaign, individuals can send us a photo with the slogan "4.1 - It CAN Be Done" by tweeting us pictures @ConsumerVoices, posting on our Facebook or emailing your photos to info@theconsumervoice.org.  Get the word out and encourage consumers to participate by sending in their photos too!

Calendar of Events

Wednesday, June 10: Achieving Cultural Competence for the Younger Adult in the Long Term Care Setting - Part Two, 3:00pm ET, Nursing Home Social Work Webinar Series

Friday, June 12: Changing the Landscape of Long-Term Care, 7:30am-4:30pm, Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel in St. Louis, MO, All-day conference from VOYCE

Monday, June 15: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Thursday, June 18: Money Smart for Older Adults Train-the-Trainer, 1:00pm ET, Webinar from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Friday, June 26: Session proposals for Consumer Voice Annual Conference due

Tuesday, June 30: Delivering Your Message: Utilizing Both Traditional Approaches and Social Media, Advocacy skills training webinar from the Consumer Voice

Thursday, August 27: How to Grow, Support, and Activate Your Network, Advocacy skills training webinar from the Consumer Voice

October: Residents' Rights Month, CARE Matters

November 4-7, 2015: Consumer Voice 39th Annual Conference, Crystal City, Virginia

Your Car Can Help Promote Quality Care - It's Easy!

Do you, a loved one or friend have a car that you or they would like to dispose of?  Now, Consumer Voice can help – and your used car can help Consumer Voice!  By working with our car disposal agency, Vehicle Donation to Any Charity (V-DAC), the proceeds from the sale of your car become a contribution to Consumer Voice.

Donating your car is easy - V-DAC comes to the location of the car and picks it up (whether the car can be driven or not).  Provide the car's registration and title, and V-DAC will send you a contribution letter with the amount of the donation that was made.

Note: We are actually registered with the service as “NCCNHR” so when asked which charity you would like to benefit, just say or type in “NCCNHR.”

Here is a link to our page on the V-DAC site http://v-dac.com/org?id=52-1122531 and you can get started there – or just call 877-999-8322 toll free.   And to discuss your donation with Consumer Voice, just write to us at info@theconsumervoice.org or call (202) 332-2275 x209

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Thursday, June 4:
Floyd Hartley and Dick Weinman share their experiences during the White House Conference on Aging listening session at the 2014 Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Thursday, May 28
At HR 9 52 briefing, nursing home administrator Susan Hargreaves says high quality nursing care requires RNs 24 hours

Long-Term Care Resources & News

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About The Voice

The Voice is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe below. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2015.

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Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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